Mosquitoes

You wake up and say, “Drat! Where is that stupid thing? Swatting at it doesn’t help and if I turn the light on doesn’t mean I’m going to be able to see the stupid thing. It’ll probably hide anyway.” But you roll over, pull the covers up over your head a little tighter and the brainless thing must be under there with you because now you can hear it more than ever.

Graphics - MDC - Mosquito

But just how brainless is it. For a while at least you have given it control of your life, and the more it bothers you the angrier you get. Your blood pressure goes up. You may even begin to sweat, and if you turn on the light to find and kill it you have given it even more power over you. Yes, something so small, so petty, so inane has taken control of you, and no matter how much you try to ignore it, or try to fight it, it is not going away.

This happens to everyone.

But there are a lot of mosquitoes in our lives that temporarily drive us insane. These petty annoyances often get the best of us because we give it the power to do so.

As I’ve stated before I live in a tourist town with a population of 3,500 people, but we get 11 to 14 million tourists per year, and I know for a fact many of them pack everything they think they are going to need, except their brain. That is lying on the dining room table ready to be packed, but they forgot it in the rush to get out the door and onto the highway.

Traffic can be a real challenge sometimes. It’s not like someone going to McSweetville and driving slowly looking for an address. These are people who will stop, for no apparent reason, and sit there, staring at some tourist attraction or store or restaurant for five minutes. It gets very frustrating sometimes when I am trying to get home with the frozen food before I have to get it out, defrost it and start cooking it on the engine block so it won’t spoil.

But a simple attitude correction changed all that. I decided I don’t want to waste my time whining and complain, worrying, fussing and fuming over this, when I can be grateful these people are coming to my town and helping provide jobs, pay taxes on their rooms, meals and the attractions, that gives the whole town great, clean water, nicely landscaped vistas, and a rather large public transportation system for a town this size.

Graphics - MDC - Female Runner

© Zazzle

A couple with a small child recently moved into the apartment above me. This little girl likes to not only run around, but likes to jump as well…a lot. And there have been many nights when she has gotten up in the middle of the night and starts track events of running and jumping, waking me up. I was allowing this to “make” me angry all the time. But then I realized no one “makes” you angry. It’s your choice to feel that way. You could also choose to feel another way simply by changing your mind and your attitude.

Are you letting the little things drive you crazy, or do you have control? It’s simple a matter of how you choose to react, and the attitude to let it go when it really makes so little difference in a life full of great, wonderful and fun things to do. Now if we can just do something about the real mosquitoes buzzing us in the night…

If you take pride in your work...sign it! - © 2009, Ric Morgan and SimpleWords Communications. All rights reserved.

If you take pride in your work...sign it! - © 2009, Ric Morgan and SimpleWords Communications. All rights reserved.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Monday Lite – Videos

It’s the cocktail hour. Do you know where your monkey is?

From Weird Nature on the BBC

_____

The Dance at the Local Girl’s Club

_____

A Tribute to a Great Man

Over $270 Million has been given to thousands of charities since 1982.

I use Newman’s Own products not just to support the kids and the camps, but because they are good. As far as I’m concerned the Marinara and Sockarooni Pasta Sauces and the Two Thousand Island Salad Dressing are the best on the market.

If you take pride in your work...sign it! - © 2009, Ric Morgan and SimpleWords Communications. All rights reserved.

If you take pride in your work...sign it! - © 2009, Ric Morgan and SimpleWords Communications. All rights reserved.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Now is Here

Graphics - MDS - Gold Pocket WatchIt is always now. Though the future beckons and the past fills up your memories, what you always have, where you always are, is now. The successes you enjoy are the successes you work to achieve not someday, not once upon a time, but now. The actions that get taken, and the only ones which have any affect whatsoever, are the actions you take now.

Though the past may still echo, though the future holds much promise, now is where you live, now is the place where you have an influence, now is the time when you can make things happen.

What are you waiting for? Now is here now. It is your time to live, to accomplish, to learn, to have fun, to move forward, to laugh, to love, to make a difference. Do it now and it will get done.

Every opportunity, every possibility that exists, exists now. Now encompasses a whole universe filled with abundance and energy. You are now. Now is yours. Make it the best it can be.

Why do you want to clog up your life with negativity now…why fill this time with hate, anger, fear, jealousy, resentment and all the rest, when it is just as easy, if not easier, to live in the four natural states of Being: Joy, Serenity, Peace and Contentment? I don’t want to spend what could be my last moment on this planet involved in negative thoughts, choices and action.

Graphics - MDC - Sign Up Now Sticky

We really do not know how long we have. Things happen momentarily. One second I was a whole person, and within seconds my life changed and I became physically disabled. There was no design, no plan, no intuition. It just happened. The lesson was, and still is, how to handle that change every day. Do I allow it to become the focus of my life and sit and feel sorry for myself, or do I face that challenge and do things for myself that are productive and positive, that may even have a positive impact on the life of someone else, inspire them, and help them to see that all they have is now, and decide how they want to spend it?

What are you going to do about it now?

If you take pride in your work...sign it! - © 2009, Ric Morgan and SimpleWords Communications. All rights reserved.

If you take pride in your work...sign it! - © 2009, Ric Morgan and SimpleWords Communications. All rights reserved.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Pencils

I am about as paper-free as anyone can be, but when I do want to write something down, I have small pieces of paper I tear up from waste paper. And there is always a pencil sitting at the ready.

Graphics - MDC - PencilEver since I was a child I have always preferred a pencil to a pen, and through the years have even gotten to the point where the eraser outlasts the lead—actually it’s a graphite and clay mixture. The amount of clay used in the mixture modifies the hardness of the graphite, giving us a full range of pencils from 9H or 9B. The scale for hardness was developed in Europe where H stands for hardness, B for blackness and F for fine point. The standard No. 2 pencil we are all used to using is HB—equally hard and dark. On the European scale the hardest is 9H, the softest is 9B. In the U.S. most Americans use grades: No.1 – B; No. 2 – HB; No. 2½ – F; No. 3 – H; and, No. 4 – 2H.

I especially like the big, fat pencils, and of course, yellow is always the best color for the barrel. This started in Austria in 1890. Up until then most pencils had been painted in dark colors, but one manufacturer decided to paint his best and most expensive pencil yellow to make it more distinctive. Other manufacturers wanting to associate with the quality of these yellow pencils began using the same color. However, people in countries like Brazil and Germany prefer green, and in southern European countries, the preference is for dark red or black with yellow lines. Red with black bands at one end is preferred in Australia.

Today, most pencils are round, but come in a variety of shapes, even triangular.

The invention of pencils dates back to the 16th century when sticks of graphite were wrapped in string or sheepskin for stability and ease of holding while writing.

Italians were the first to develop the wooden holders we call barrels today. A piece of juniper was hollowed out and a piece of pressed graphite was inserted. It didn’t take long to improve the technique where two wooden halves were carved, a graphite stick was laid down on one half and another piece of wood glued to the first. This same, but mechanized, technique is essential used today.

In the U.S. Red Cedar wood was used because of its nice aroma and the fact that it did not splinter when sharpened, until supplies of the timber dwindled dangerously low. It was later discovered that abundant Incense Cedar, perfumed and dyed to match Red Cedar works just as well and is used even today through the use of managed forests.

Erasers were first attached to pencils in 1858. The metal band used to attach the eraser to the pencil is called a ferrule.

Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison

I feel like I am in good company because there are some very famous people who preferred pencils: Thomas Edison (used custom-made pencils), Vincent Van Gogh, John Steinbeck and Vladimir Nabokov. There is one other characteristic all these people shared, and those who know me well say I do, too: they were all a little odd, but that’s besides the point.

Annually, about 14 billion pencils are made worldwide each year. While that may seem like a lot of anything, I can remember seeing a television news report about the fact that children from poor families could not go to school simply because they didn’t have their own pencil. Makes you think, doesn’t it?

If you take pride in your work...sign it! - © 2009, Ric Morgan and SimpleWords Communications. All rights reserved.

If you take pride in your work...sign it! - © 2009, Ric Morgan and SimpleWords Communications. All rights reserved.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Not As Bad

FACT: From early in the Spring fires have caused thousands of people to flee their homes and businesses in California. Hundreds of homes and businesses have been lost to these fires that have proven to be very difficult to manage and extinguish.

Fire in Greece

Fire in Greece

FACT: This summer fires have caused thousands of people to flee their homes and businesses in Greece. Hundreds of homes and businesses have been lost to these fires that have proven to be very difficult to manage and extinguish.

These two facts sound very similar don’t they, and in most ways they are. But for some reason I cannot explain, one seems less important than the other. Is it due to distance? Is it due to complacency? Each one is a major tragedy, and people in both places have suffered great loss.

FACT: The telephone rings and it’s your mother telling you Uncle Bill died in a traffic accident due to drunk driving last night.

Graphics - MDC - Car Accident

FACT: On your way to work you hear a news story that an elderly single man was killed in an accident last night due to drunk driving. His brother, and several nieces and nephews survive him.

The first one is a personal tragedy. Everyone has known for years about Uncle Bill’s problem with alcohol and no one could or would do anything about it. Even still everyone in the family liked Uncle Bill and he will be missed.

The second fact is about someone you don’t know, and your first reaction is that the guy got what he deserved for driving drunk. Well, gosh, he could have killed someone else and not just himself.

But what’s the difference here? It’s the exact same story, but one is personal, and one is seen from a distance.

This got my attention when I noticed two stories on television news about fires in California, and fires just north of Athens. It sounded to me like both stories could have been interchanged and would have been a report about the same event. And the video showing the fires, homes in flames, people fleeing were nearly identical. The only difference was the way the firemen were dressed—the uniforms and hats were different styles.

But I felt really bad for the people of California who have suffered through so many fires and so much devastation this year. But I had very little response to the people in Greece facing a nearly identical event. And I am sure I’m not the only one who felt that way watching those two reports.

Is this an us versus them mentality—when it happens to us it’s more real, more tragic, but when it happens to them, who cares?

I doubt this is something new. It probably has been going on for hundreds, perhaps even thousands of years. Don’t you image a mother in Germany was just as worried for the safety of her son in World War II, as every American mother was?

I did a lot of research about this and even talked to a psychologist on the phone about it, but there doesn’t seem to be any explanation other than one is personal and the other is not. New York City psychologist, John Ryder, says, “it’s all about familiarity…personal on an individual level and on a national level, as well.”

If you take pride in your work...sign it! - © 2009, Ric Morgan and SimpleWords Communications. All rights reserved.

If you take pride in your work...sign it! - © 2009, Ric Morgan and SimpleWords Communications. All rights reserved.


1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Military Units

I have been hearing a lot on radio and TV, and reading in the newspapers about the numbers of (military) men and then there will be a name based on the number. While I know this doesn’t directly relate to this column, do you know how many soldiers make up a platoon, squad, brigade, etc. I’ve look on the Internet, but I just haven’t been able to find what I’ve been looking for. – Steve Russel, Salinas, Kansas

Golly, what you people don’t come up with!

Steve, your search term should probably have been military unit. Interestingly, I have this information because, for reasons I can’t discuss here, I have to know it.

First, there a couple of things you should know. Everything is designated with a symbol; either an X, a roman number, a dot (•), or negative number (Ø). Next, comes the unit names. Third, is the number of men or women within a unit, followed by the number of lower ranking units that comprise that particular unit. And finally, the titles of the commanding officers or leader of a unit.

To help you follow this guide:

Symbol
Name
Strength
Constituent units
Commander or Leader

Let’s start with the smallest and work our way up. This is for the Army. Other braches of the service use different designations and numbers. The Navy is very different and complicated.

Graphics - MDC - Dog Tags

Ø
Fire and Maneuver Team
2
None
Any Private First Class

Ø
Fireteam
4–5
None
Lance Corporal to Sergeant


Squad or Crew
8–16
2+ Fireteams or 1+ Cell
Corporal to Staff Sergeant

••
Section or Patrol
8–12
2+ Fireteams
Corporal to Staff Sergeant

•••
Platoon or Commonwealth Troop
25–60
2+ Squads, Sections, or Vehicles
Warrant Officer and First or Second Lieutenant

I
Infantry Company, Artillery Battery, U.S. Cavalry Troop, or Commonwealth Armour or Combat Engineering Squadron
70–250
2–8 Platoons or Commonwealth Troops
Chief Warrant Officer and Captain or Major

II
Infantry Battalion, U.S. Cavalry Squadron, or Commonwealth Armoured Regiment
300–1000
2–6 Companies, Batteries, U.S. Cavalry Troops, or Commonwealth Squadrons Lieutenant Colonel

III
Regiment or Group
2000–3000
2+ Battalions or U.S. Cavalry Squadrons
Colonel

X
Brigade
2000–5000
2+ regiments, 3–6 Battalions or Commonwealth Regiments
Brigadier General, Brigadier or Colonel

XX
Division
10,000–20,000
2–4 Brigades or Regiments
Major General

XXX
Corps
30,000–80,000
2+ Divisions
Lieutenant General

XXXX
Army
60,000–100,000+
2–4 Corps
General, Army General, or Colonel General

XXXXX
Army Group
250,000+
2+ Armies
General, Army General, or Field Marshal

XXXXXX
Region, Theater, or Front
1,000,000+
4+ Army Groups
General, Army General, or Field Marshal

You may have been hearing or reading that the U.S. Commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, has been talking to the Pentagon of adding 20-30,000 troops. That you would be the equivalent of a Division or a Corps.

I hope this helps.

If you take pride in your work...sign it! - © 2009, Ric Morgan and SimpleWords Communications. All rights reserved.

If you take pride in your work...sign it! - © 2009, Ric Morgan and SimpleWords Communications. All rights reserved.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Monday Lite

At least they can keep a sense of humor in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Thanks to Craig Cruickshank for submitting the photos.

cid:012001c8fdb9$add195f0$4501a8c0@IJWnotebook
~~~~~~~~~~
cid:012101c8fdb9$add195f0$4501a8c0@IJWnotebook
~~~~~~~~~~

cid:012301c8fdb9$add195f0$4501a8c0@IJWnotebook
~~~~~~~~~~

ci
~~~~~~~~~~
cid:012601c8fdb9$add195f0$4501a8c0@IJWnotebook
~~~~~~~~~~
cid:012701c8fdb9$add195f0$4501a8c0@IJWnotebook
~~~~~~ ~~~~
cid:012801c8fdb9$add195f0$4501a8c0@IJWnotebook
~~~~~~~~~~

cid:012b01c8fdb9$add195f0$4501a8c0@IJWnotebook
~~~~~~~~~~
cid:012c01c8f
~~~~~~~~~~
cid:012d01c8fdb9$add195f0$4501a8c0@IJWnotebook
~~~~~~~~~~
cid:012e01c8fdb9$add195f0$4501a8c0@IJWnotebook
~~~~~~~~~~
cid:012f01c8fdb9$add195f0$4501a8c0@IJWnotebook
~~~~~~~~~~
cid:013001c8fdb9$add195f0$4501a8c0@IJWnotebook
~~~~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~~~~
cid:013201c8fdb9$add195f0$4501a8c0@IJWnotebook

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized